How Poetry Saved Me During Quarantine, And How It Will Save Me Again

As Toronto enters its second lockdown of the year, I can’t help but reminisce on how poetry saved me the first time around. 

Poetry is such a free way to express yourself and your artistry. It’s your own personal journal, a form of therapy, your outlet. This art form consists of beautiful twists of metaphors, words swooned together in seamless motions, truths that can be felt and not just said. 

When the pandemic hit, I was struck. I didn’t know how to express my emotions. I’ve always been fond of writing poetry but my love for it definitely skyrocketed when I had nothing else to do and didn’t feel like speaking to anyone.

Writing really becomes a form of self-care. During the first lockdown, I felt so down on myself and blamed myself for being unproductive and sad. I had to find a way to bring out the creativity I had inside of me. 

Luckily, poetry did just that. 

Poetry helped me escape the whirlwind of emotions I was feeling and the events happening around me, no matter how tragic. I didn’t just escape, I got to accept. Accepting that things may not have been the best, that the circumstances may not be working in anyone’s favour, yet faith is a choice. Poetry helped me find faith in hopeless cases. It forced me to reflect, to see things in colour and not just in black and white. 

I found a way to help find myself, I found a reason to get up every morning, I found a way to pass the time, I found a way to have hope. I found it in poetry. 

That through and through, rainfalls and droughts, it was the only thing that could ever keep my eyes open even if they were closed making me realize that sleep never even meant rest, that rest meant finished poems, that unfinished poems meant love in places other than ourselves, that love, love, felt like a compromise only my words can ever conspire together. How my tongue twists perfectly in motion when I speak my words, that metaphors are my best companions.

Writing and becoming, isn’t simple like that. It is art. It is your vision shaped in letters and words. 

If you let yourself be free if you let yourself feel, if you let yourself let go - you will find the poems inside of you. 

As we enter the second lockdown, I can’t wait to enter new worlds that poetry will help bring me into. I can’t wait to see my growth as a writer and as a human being. I’ll have poetry be my time capsule. 

I want to share a poem I wrote during the first quarantine, about my self-growth. 

“i see my evolution as a woman clearer than ever before, 

the embodiment of sincerity twisted inside my ribcage,

this new beauty I have found is within me. 

a selfless devotion to a familiar love. 

to become a muse to my own poetry. 

my younger self dreamt of mornings like this, 

where my body doesn’t have to fight with my mind to move, 

where the natural rise of the sun isn’t a dreadful greeting, 

where I finally wish to be awake rather than be adrift from reality -

it’s starting to make sense now, 

comfort in the idea of solitude, 

that being in love with being alone is a superpower, 

reeling in lost pieces of myself I hid in other beings, 

finding remnants of who I was intertwined with the woman I want to become, 

it’s coming full circle for me. 

knowing my place in the whirlwind of an emotionless world, 

knowing my worth in times where I don’t even feel worthwhile, 

knowing that I know more than I think, that my wisdom is beyond, that my knowledge is thirsty, that my empathy is enough, always enough. 

and although i’m changing more rapidly than i’ve ever imagined, 

may I never forget to not just celebrate the woman I want to become,

but the woman that I am.

because she is enough, always enough.”